The white police officer who fatally shot Tamir Rice, an African American 12-year-old, will not face criminal charges, it was
announced on Monday – more than a year after the shooting in Cleveland.
A grand jury declined to indict officer Timothy Loehmann, who opened fire on Tamir less than two seconds after arriving at a park where the 12-year-old was playing with a toy gun on 22 November 2014. Loehmann’s partner, Frank Garmback, will also face no charges, Cuyahoga county prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced at a press conference.
McGinty argued that Tamir’s death was caused by a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day” but there was no evidence of criminal misconduct by police.
The two officers believed they were responding to a “potential active shooter situation” and had not been provided with crucial details of a 911 call reporting that Rice was likely a juvenile with a gun that was “probably fake”, McGinty said.
“Had the officers been aware of these qualifiers, the training officer who was driving might have approached the scene with less urgency; lives may not have been put at stake,” McGinty said.
Subodh Chandra, an attorney for Tamir’s mother Samaria, said they had been given no information about the announcement beforehand and had learned it was taking place through a public statement made by the county prosecutor’s office about an hour earlier.